Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav will contest Uttar Pradesh assembly election from Karhal seat in Mainpuri district, the party announced onThursday.
The party has also pitched former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader late Upendra Shukla’s wife Subhavati Shukla against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the Gorakhpur Sadar seat.
While confirming Akhilesh’s candidature on Thursday the SP’s chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said, “Yes he will contest from Karhal seat in Mainpuri district.” He also confirmed that Subhavati Shukla will contest from Gorakhpur Sadar seat.
This will be the first time when Akhilesh, who is sitting MP from Azamgarh, will be contesting the assembly polls. Even in 2012 when he became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, he was a member of the Legislative Council.
Karhal is considered to be a stronghold of SP as the party has won the seat for three consecutive terms. In 2017 despite the Modi wave, SP candidate Sobaran Singh Yadav won from Karhal seat by a margin of 38,405 votes defeating his nearest rival Rama Shakya of the BJP.
Besides, the SP has named former BJP leader late Upendra Shukla’s wife Subhavati Shukla against CM Yogi Adityanath from the Gorakhpur Sadar seat. Shubhavati met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday and joined the party along with her two sons.
Upendra Shukla died of cardiac arrest in 2020. He was the BJP’s state vice-president at the time of his death.
Shukla had contested Lok Sabha by-election on the party ticket in 2018 after the seat fell vacant following the resignation of Yogi Adityanath, after he became the CM. However, Shukla lost to Praveen Nishad of SP.
It may be noted that the Azad Samaj Party has also decided to field its party’s founder and president Chandrashekhar Azad alias Ravan against Yogi Adityanath.